Artificial intelligence (AI)-based diagnostic and screening tools provider Toku has received $8m in Series A Preferred financing to accelerate the development of its AI-powered technologies for retinal imaging.

US-based optical retailer National Vision and eye care medical devices and software solutions provider Topcon Healthcare co-led the financing round.

Toku co-founder and CEO Dr Ehsan Vaghefi said: “We are proud to gain the support of two companies that play essential roles in vision care and optical technologies worldwide.

“Over 80% of cardiac events and diabetes-related blindness could be prevented by identifying risk and applying targeted interventions. We are building a future in which more people have affordable access to this critical health data – all from analysing a retinal image.”

Toku will use the investment to commercialise AI-powered technologies that are used to analyse retinal images for biometric markers associated with overall health and risk of cardiovascular events, stroke and diabetes.

The company is said to apply its AI technology to leading retinal cameras to maximise market access.

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Topcon Medical Systems president Akifumi Baba said: “Toku retinal image analysis technology will do just that by giving people access to potentially life-saving health insights while overcoming traditional access and affordability barriers that too often accompany new healthcare tools.

“We are excited to provide our data science expertise to Toku and to welcome them as our first ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’.”

The company’s flagship product, the BioAge Test, analyses biometric markers in the body to accurately determine the biological age of an individual.